Before Midnight, had a slow start for me. I then realized that there this was a sequal to “Before Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004). I would recommend that you watch these two movies before watching Before Midnight. It will give you more insight of what Before Midnight is all about.
“Returning to the story of Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) every nine years. The couple was introduced us when they were 23 years old and had smooth and youthful faces full of dreams and hopes; it returned to find them slightly older and wiser at 32 in Before Sunset. In “Before Midnight,” they’re 41. They have wrinkles and seem tired and worried, yelling at their children to “not go too far” while swimming in the sea.” They now live in Paris with their twin daughters.
After taking his son to the airport, Jesse is worrying that he is an absent father. He is thinking about a way to spent more time with his son and this is causing a lot of heat in arguments. Should they move or not?
They spent the summer in Greece on the invitation of an author colleague of Jesse’s. The film includes scenes that involve Jesse and Celine talking to younger and older couples, offering different views on love, marriage and romance.
“Before Midnight” is made up of very long takes. These conversations bring us closer to the characters and highlight the effect of age on lovers. In the past two movies, Jesse and Celine talked about the future, their ambitions, fears and dreams. Now they focus is on the mistakes of the past and on their present problems. Jesse begins to question his life decisions, and his relationship with Celine is at risk.
They have built their relationship from long talks, but they haven’t been really talking to each other for years. They go down memory lane talking about how they met and if they will still fall in love that day. When Celine asks Jesse if he would invite her to get off the train if they had met right this instant, his hesitation reveals not his doubt about the love he felt and still feels for her, but his difficulty in re-imagining his wife as an idealized, perfect muse.
Delpy (Celine) and Hawke (Jesse) have together accumulated almost sixty years of life experience together. When Jesse and Celine talk or argue, we’re able to understand both points of view. Yes, Celine sometimes seem to be more impatient, but this does not automatically make Jesse right. In Celine’s defence, it’s not easy have a serious conversation when your husband insists on trying to defuse any sign of tension by constantly making jokes, many of which are as cruel as they are amusing. She blames him for the circumstances they are stuck in.
Before Midnight” is moving because it acknowledges that even love stories that began as beautifully as Jesse and Celine’s must still endure the wear and tear of real life. Perhaps the story of the survival or the collapse of that love story over time is the definitive fable of love.
It exposes “happily ever after” as what it is: a sweet but absurd fantasy.